According to Florence Allen, Jacob Tuckerman “was, in a considerable degree, a feminist. He had been in Oberlin when Lucy Stone, (a prominent American abolitionist and suffragist), was a student there. Oberlin was the first college in American history to admit women to its classes on the same terms as men, so grandfather had a conception of the possible intellectuality of women. He sent my mother one year to Mt. Holyoke and in the first year that Smith was established my mother went to Smith. She was in fact the first girl examined for Smith. My Aunt Lillian and my Aunt Florence graduated at Smith, and this was in an age when too often the women who went to college had to work their way in spite of the opposition of their fathers.”
As noted by Carl Feather, “Tuckerman attended the Kingsville Academy and Oberlin, became a superintendent of schools by the age of 26 and organized the Orwell Academy. The Tuckerman years are often referred to as the Grand River Institute’s golden era — during that time, he was principal to more than 3,100 students from most parts of the United States. After leaving Grand River Institute, Tuckerman continued his success at New Lyme Institute.”
Sources: Rough draft of Florence Allen’s autobiography “To Do Justly” sent to Esther Allen Gaw and others (1956) and Carl Feather's “The Legacy of Education” (2011).
Image courtesy of the Jennie Munger Gregory Memorial Museum, which is owned and operated by the Ashtabula County Historical Society.